Cold weekends are the worst. Especially for someone like me who is always itching to get out of the house and have an adventure. So when I checked the weather and found out it was going to be in the 40’s last weekend I scrambled over to my computer to see what Carlos and I could get into.
My search ended with Point Lookout, Maryland. No surprise there, since I just watch a PBS documentary about the Potomac River and it ended with the Potomac spilling into the Chesapeake Bay at the southernmost point of Maryland–Point Lookout.
So I had to go.
We also decided to stop at St. Mary’s City along the way because we have cruised by it a few times, both on our bikes and in our car, but we never had a chance to stop and see Maryland’s first colonial settlement and capital. And as you know,
History + Outdoors + Cruising = I’m There!
And then I said, “Hey, you know that rock that supposed to have a witch’s hand print on it is also in St. Mary’s County. Let’s go there, too!” And Carlos, always down for whatever, says, “Cool beans!”
That’s Carlos’ favorite saying.
And that is how we roll on a Saturday.
So we ended up winding our way over back roads to the small town of Leonardtown, Maryland in St. Mary’s County.
It is a historic town that has been around since the 1600’s and was a invaded by both the British in the war of 1812 and the Union Navy in the Civil War. And it is the location of the legend of Moll Dyer.
As the legend goes, Moll Dyer was a resident of Leonardtown. On a freezing cold winter night in the late 1600’s, Moll, accused of witchcraft, was chased from her home by the local residents.
Side-note: While writing this part on Moll Dyer, my phone rang and it was a call from Leonardtown, MD! It was a woman with a strange, flat-effect sounding tone to her voice. It was a wrong number….WEIRD!!
Days later, poor Moll was found dead on the ground, frozen and clinging to a large stone. When her body was removed, the townsfolk found that her frozen hand had left an imprint on the stone.
Legend also says that with Moll’s last breath she cursed the town…
And over the years the land around where her cabin stood would no longer grow crops.
And a white dog is said to cause car accidents on the road near where her cabin once stood.
And some have seen an apparition of a women in white near the location of her cabin.
And the stone.
The stone sat in a ravine by her cabin for 200 years till it was moved to sit next to the old jail, which is now the St. Mary’s Historical Society in Leonardtown.
The Moll Dyer Rock
OK, ok. I can say I was a bit disappointed. In my mind there was an actual hand print. Like a hand painting that you see in prehistoric caves.
But uh, no.
So I fiddled with the picture a bit.
Is it clearer now?
I guess people in the 17th century had a better imagination than I do.
So after leaving Leonardtown, we headed straight to Historic St. Mary’s City. It was not staffed during the winter, but we were able to walk among the buildings, including the State House that was built in 1676, where you can sit in the stocks and pretend you are being punished for not keeping the Sabbath day holy.
Then, while gazing at the colonial torture devices used to keep those bad colonials in line, another witch appeared.
Oh, no, that definitely sounds like the name of someone accused of witchcraft back in the day.
Rebecca and her husband had been indentured servants in Calvert County, Maryland in the mid-1600’s and, after working off their indenturetude (if that is even a word, and spellcheck is telling me that it isn’t), they married and bought land of their own, called Fowler’s Delight (how sweet!).
But alas, some asshole accused her of witchcraft, and in the witchcraft-crazed-time of this period, the townsfolk believed him. I mean, he was sick, it had to be her fault!
So, poor Rebecca went on trial in the St. Mary’s State House and the jury found her guilty of being led by the “Divell (to practice) certaine evil & dyabolicall artes called witchcrafts”. And on October 3, 1685, she was sentenced to hang by the neck until she was dead.
Couldn’t they have just put her in the stocks for a couple of days?
All I know is that that fool had better been REALLY sick!
After leaving Moll and Rebecca behind, we did finally end up in Point Lookout, Maryland. It is a very nice state park and we plan on going back to camp and fish and take advantage of the beach. But funny enough, we didn’t take any pictures of the destination we planned to go to in the first place.